WHATEVER form the 2020 AFL season takes, Carlton have accepted hobbled star forward Charlie Curnow won’t play any part.
The 23-year-old had expressed confidence he would return to the field this year after surgery to remove screws from his right knee cap, but a related stress response suffered last month has dashed those hopes.
“From a coaching point of view we’re going to plan for the year without him and I think mentally that’s where he’s at,” Blues coach David Teague told reporters on Friday.
“If things progress quicker, they progress quicker, we can’t really control that.
“I think him and the football club will prepare for the year without him then we’ll see how we go.
“Our challenge right now is supporting him and giving him the best rehab program to allow him to get back the fittest and strongest that he can.
“When that may be, we don’t know.”
Curnow’s latest setback continued a horror run with his right knee that began when he sustained season-ending ligament damage in a round 15 win over Fremantle last year.
He then dislocated his right patella while playing basketball with friends in October and broke the same bone in November when he slipped on tiles.
The key forward underwent surgery to insert a pin after the basketball incident then had wires wrapped around the patella to mould it together after the fracture.
An operation in March to remove those pins and wires was hailed a success as it allowed him to move more freely and increase his training loads.
But the club announced on April 17 that scans had revealed a hairline stress response related to one of the screw holes made during the original surgery in October.
“We just need to take the smart approach with him,” Teague said.
“We love him as a person and a footballer, and we just want to see him back out there happy and playing footy.”
(C) AAP 2020